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Lakewood Center gets makeover for 60th season

by: VERN UYETAKE - The Lakewood Center's redesign features a special room that can be closed off from the lobby for receptions and private events.Just in time for the opening of its 60th season, a redesign has been completed at Lakewood Center for the Arts, providing a rehearsal hall, enlarged office space, new gallery and reception space and an upgraded art studio.

The remodeling began July 5 and was completed on schedule, according to Andrew Edwards, Lakewood Center executive director.

“We wanted an enhanced entryway to the center to match the caliber of performances we produce,” he said. “And now with better rehearsal space our long-range plans are to keep raising the caliber of what we do. Not do more, just better.”

The redesign allows for dedicated rehearsal space for actors who previously rehearsed in many different-sized locations, depending on what room was available. The new space will make it easier to block the staging of the plays, so actors will always be in the same physical relationship to one another. It will also help set designers lay out the next play in the correct dimensions and provide workspace for actors and directors.

The modifications made to the offices provide adequate space for all Lakewood staff for the first time. The box office space was also upgraded.

The entry area and lobby was greatly improved. An entryway gallery was created, which will provide secure space for visual art exhibits and a gathering space.

“The Lakewood Center has operated in the black for all of its 60 years,” said board member Michelle Dorman. She said the modifications were made to the building as the funds were raised.

Edwards said donations can still be made to the project. Learn more by calling Edwards at 503-635-6338.

For information on purchasing season tickets to the 60th season, call the box office at 503-635-3901 or visit Lakewood-center.org.

CORRECTION: This article erroneously reported that the remodel was completed. The first phase of the remodel, which provided for enlarged office space and improvements to the entryway and member gallery, was completed.

Yet to come are an upgraded art studio and rehearsal hall, work that will be done as funding becomes available. At the end of August, about $570,000 was raised toward the $1 million project.